- Aug 8, 2007
Low-output turbo cars deemed too powerful for provisional drivers in Oz
Unfortunately, the governmental outfit known as VicRoads has inadvertantly banned some of the safest cars on the market such as Mercedes' 160hp C200 Kompressor but makes it perfectly legal for inexperienced drivers to get behind the wheel of the Aussie market's 250hp plus naturally aspirated six-cylinder sedans. Even Saab's 1.8T engine with an earth-shattering 147hp is rated as a 'high-powered' engine by the state government, while Ford's 255hp 4.0L straight-six is fine.
You'd think that common sense would soon step in and force the lawmakers to make some adjustments to the banned list, but you'd be wrong. Despite the outcry from carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Saab, which sell a range of low-powered forced-induction models, ministers still see all force-fed engines as high-powered and are not about to step down from the standpoint.
While we agree that putting provisional drivers behind the wheel of a performance car usually leads to trouble, this type of blanket ban on all super and turbo chargers is plain wrong. A number of companies are using these technologies to improve fuel economy and we can only expect to see their use increase, not decrease.
You can take a look at all the restrictions for new provisional drivers here. Essentially, all cars with 8-cylinders or more are banned, as well as all turbo and superchargers and some high-power V6 models. Some exceptions apply to Smart cars and turbo-diesel models.